Congressman James E. Clyburn, Chair, CBC, Exposing the Bigotry of the CCC

Congressional Black Caucus
Press Release – 18 March 1999

For Immediate Release Contact: Michael Elazier
March 18, 1999 202-225-3315

Congressional Black Caucus

Congressman James E. Clyburn, Chair, CBC, Exposing the Bigotry of the Council of Conservative Citizens

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, I join my colleagues in calling for the condemnation of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). The CCC is an outgrowth of the infamous “White Citizens Council,” commonly known as the white-collar Klan, which helped to enforce segregation in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The CCC, with ties to the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) and other white supremacist organizations, promotes racism, anti-Semitism, and intolerance through their newsletter, website and public discourse.

The CCC has maliciously denigrated great American leaders including Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They have hosted racist and anti-Semitic speakers at CCC events, including KKK leader David Duke and Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, a xenophobic, racist, and anti-Semitic political party in France.

The CCC has recently been condemned by both Democratic National Committee Roy Romer and Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson. In a statement before the national media and reported in the Washington Post on January 16, 1999, Mr. Nicholson called on all Republicans who are members of the CCC to resign from the group. In our Resolution, we urge all Members of Congress not to support or endorse the Council of Conservative Citizens and its views.

Many have asked why we are here and I will respond with a quotation I am often reminded of as I work with my CBC colleagues to address the problems facing our constituents across the nation.

“When Hitler attacked the Jews . . . I was not a Jew, therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then, Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church and there was nobody left to be concerned.”

Let’s not be left alone to fight racism and bigotry in our society. Let’s stand together, for united we are strong, but divided we are conquered. America’s greatest asset is not its strong economy, not its mighty military, not its technological advances in science and medicine, and not even its super athletes like Michael Jordan. America’s greatest strength is the diversity of its people.

And so we are here today to sound the call and let people of all races, creeds, religions, and colors know that the Members of the 106th Congress are committed to stamping out the twin thieves of racism and bigotry, which rob the nation of the fruit of our diversity and strain the tapestry of our great nation.

Let me close by quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a great American, who, as I mentioned earlier, the CCC has maliciously denigrated. Dr. King said on one occasion, “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.” So, today, we must continue to call the nation’s attention to organizations like the CCC who have an agenda of hatred and racism. I urge all my colleagues to join us by signing on and passing H.Res. 35.

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